Israel's "Right to Exist" vs. Hamas' “Right to Resist"

 

by Kevin Gosztola    
 
On December 28, the US vetoed a Security Council draft resolution to end Israel's "disproportionate use of force" on Gazans. The vote was 11 ayes, three abstentions (Britain, Germany and Bulgaria), and one nay - America. John Negroponte did the dishonor following a long-standing practice of blocking any UN condemnation of Israel, regardless of how justified.
 
The Security Council held an emergency meeting on New Year's Eve at which Negroponte again rejected a legally binding resolution condemning Israel and demanding its attacks stop. At the same time, Israel rejected pressures for a 48-hour ceasefire to allow in humanitarian aid. According to The New York Times, "The government said it would push ahead with its air, sea, and ultimately ground operation, which one senior military official described as 'making Hamas lose their will or lose their weapons.' "
 
The dramatic escalation---Israel’s decision to move forward with a ground offensive---has infuriated many Americans. Furthermore, Obama’s silence as he claims there is only “one president at a time” yet continues to feed the public more information on his economic plans for America has deeply troubled those wanting the philosophy of American leadership to change. (See Linda Milazzo’s “President-Elect Obama, You Must NOT Be Silent!”)
 

 

Concerned citizens gathered in Obama’s neighborhood in Chicago to protest Obama’s silence on Saturday in response to the dramatic escalation.
 
At one point during the protest, the protesters screamed and fell to the ground. This action meant to symbolize victims of an air strike was accompanied by "We won't be silent, we won't be tame…No more mass murder in our name."
 
On Friday, at least 4,000 gathered outside the Israeli consulate in Obama’s hometown of Chicago. Actions have been conducted to not just send a message to Obama but to send a message to the American people to not “be complacent about what's happening in Gaza”, as one South Side resident said.
 
Media manipulation is at its highest levels. The images on the screen and the scant reports from victims of the air strikes who have lost loved ones or the constant barrage of Internet reports from places like OpEdNews may be what keeps the human conscience in America from slumping backward and letting the situation go on without outrage.
 
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, who is running for election in Israel, has been a prime mouthpiece for Israeli propaganda, one Americans may have seen many times on various American newscasts since Day 1.
 
Livni said when she was in France addressing the idea of a 48-hour truce to allow humanitarian aid to Gaza, “"There is no humanitarian crisis in the Strip, and therefore there is no need for a humanitarian truce.”
 
Col. Moshe Levi, commander of the IDF's Gaza Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA), took the callous remark of Livni a step further and said, “Hamas is trying to create the appearance of a humanitarian crisis, but together with the international organizations, we are preventing this from happening.”
 
Such propaganda can be found coming from the mouths of progressives and conservatives throughout America. The American public is all too willing to put the responsibility for Israel’s act of aggression on Hamas.
 
Rob Kall, executive editor and publisher of OpEdNews.com suggested, the Palestinians are being “punked.”
 
Punked, for those of you unaware, is a term recently made famous by the MTV show Punk’d, which first aired in 2003.
 
The show, hosted by Ashton Kutcher, involves pranks being pulled on celebrities and bears a resemblance to classic television shows like Candid Camera and TV’s Bloopers & Practical Joke, which involve hidden cameras.
 
 Are Palestinians on “candid camera”? Is this atrocity unfolding before us part of some prank? Should we expect Ashton Kutcher to appear at any moment and bring all the dead innocent civilians in Gaza back to life?
 
When do the world powers in on this "punking" plan to show the victims of Israeli brutality where the hidden cameras are located? 
 
Keep in mind that on these television shows apartheid and genocide (let alone death and brutality) do not happen. The show is reserved for acts that are like, "I just destroyed all the scenes of you in your movie and you will now have to go back and reshoot the film."
 
Nonetheless, Kall suggests that the Palestinians are being “punked” and to be fair, he suggests they are not being “punked” by Ashton Kutcher but by Hamas:
 
“…The leaders of Hamas knew their rocket firings would produce a strong response from Israel but surely underestimated just how big a response. They fired them fully aware of the deaths that would follow. This is consistent with Hamas now calling for Palestinians to become suicide bombers. Hamas leaders are ready to sacrifice the lives of Palestinians to further their political goals.
 
For example, Hamas leader, Nizar Rayan, who was killed, along with his four wives and 10 children, had, in 2001, sent one of his children as a suicide bomber and had said he wanted to be martyred. It’s one thing to want to be a martyr. It’s another, as a leader, to precipitate violence that makes helpless Palestinians who did not volunteer to be martyrs into victims.
 
The Hamas power ploy seems to have worked. A growing number of observers now believe that, Israel was, shall we say, “punked” by Hamas and that their response actually helped Hamas. Hamas knew that the political situation in Israel would force the Israelis to react militarily…”
 
Kall and others are quick to dismiss the actions of Hamas without considering the full scope of the actions that Israel has taken over the past year or so. Whether Kall and others know it or not, as Jeremy Hammond suggests in his article “Top 5 Lies About Israel’s Assault on Gaza” (an essential read), Israel “announced a “special security zone” within the Gaza Strip and announced that Palestinians who enter this zone [would] be fired upon. In other words, Israel announced its intention that Israeli soldiers would shoot at farmers and other individuals attempting to reach their own land in direct violation of not only the cease-fire but international law.”
 
Hammond rightfully concludes, “Israel's actions, including its violation of the cease-fire, predictably resulted in an escalation of rocket attacks against its own population.”
 
This is all part of Lie #2, which is that “Hamas violated the cease-fire” and the “Israeli bombardment is a response to Palestinian rocket fire and is designed to end such rocket attacks.”
 
The rocket attacks continue to be the excuse or argument for why Israel is engaging in an act of aggression against Palestinians. Israel and the U.S. continue to promote the idea that Hamas is responsible for the loss of any civilians.
 
Without food, without water, without power, with sewage spilling into the streets, under air strikes, and now, under a ground offensive from Israel all after an Israeli blockade that has been long running, Americans look to Hamas and second the remarks Israeli political figures and in doing so, also second the remarks of U.S. politicians like Bush.
 
Why, if Hamas is manufacturing a humanitarian crisis, haven’t the Palestinians in Gaza begun to take out the Hamas leaders so that this can all be over? It has been suggested that Iraqi leaders would take out any elements of al Qaeda if the U.S. agreed to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq and withdraw (see the following article by Ken Silverstein from Harper’s).
 
If Israel would withdraw and end the act of aggression and its acts of oppression, don’t you think Palestinians, who have been engaged in this fierce conflict for over sixty years now, would take action to make such an end a reality?
 
And, additionally, how long does it take for Israel to take out the “terrorists” whose rocket fire poses a “threat” to them? With all that weaponry from the U.S., why is the problem of rockets such a huge deal for Israel?
 
Hamas rockets are the pretext. The rockets, as well as Israel’s right to exist and along with the Palestinian’s or Hamas’ lack of permission from Western powers to resist have all contributed to the escalation of this conflict.
 
 
The thinking and logic Americans have toward the situation in Gaza is composed of ideas on Israel’s right to self-defense, the rockets, the origins of Hamas and the purpose of Hamas in Palestine, the belief that Hamas is a terrorist organization, and Israel’s right to exist as well as deeply entrenched beliefs on anti-Semitism and/or Zionism.
 
Several argue over what constitutes proportional and fair responses and what does not.
 
 
Much of the argument negates history, negates the developments between Israel and Palestinians over the past few years, and negates U.S. support for Israel and the U.S.’ enabling of Israeli apartheid.
 
In later articles, I will further explore remarks on the Internet and the thinking and logic surfacing as Israel’s aggression continues.
 
This article was an attempt to lay the groundwork for discussion. Later, I will explore Israel's "right to exist" vs. Hamas' right to resist. 
 
Until then, this should not be thought of as Israel vs. Palestine.
 
Rather, all should ask what the U.S. did so that Israel could be the aggressor millions are witnessing on televisions and through Internet videos.
 
 
 
 
 

Kevin Gosztola goes to Columbia College in Chicago where he is studying film. He hopes to become a documentary filmmaker. He is a production assistant for CitizenKate.tv right now and will be going to the Inauguration to help them with production. He is also currently working as a production assistant on a documentary called "Seriously Green" which traces the development of the Green Party throughout the 2008 election.

 

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World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.